WCI, Chapter II (Preventive Maintenance)

23 Apr

Once I realized that most of the mechanical breakdowns were due to negligence, I started documenting the production set-up, monitoring & preventive maintenance requirements. With approval from my manager, we started working off new Standard Operating Procedures.

It is not that the people did not know what needed to be done before me, the issue was people did not have a schedule or standard procedure to work with, & considering the size of the plant there were always issues that needed attention, resulting in letting some jobs slip here & there, unless someone persists on them being done on time, or completely.

Taking the initiative to implement a preventive maintenance, I had intimidated the maintenance personnel, of course! I remember the maintenance manager; He was a very strong (6’3″, 250lbs) young man who used to have his own business, he was good at what he did & took pride in his work. He stood right in front of me, staring into my eyes, & asked me: “This is a man’s world, what are you doing here?”

Company used to have two regular, standard shut downs for preventive maintenance, that was it. One during winter holidays, a simple clean up; One during summer, which was for inspection & major repair work as needed. Considering the age & condition of the equipment, that was not enough, & they knew it too, but they did not have a system to get to the equipment, before they would break & that  resulted in production downtime, so I implemented a preventive maintenance schedule, with the approval of my manager. At first I was challenged, quite often, in many ways, by many. But within a year, when they saw the results of my work, being less break downs & increased production up-time, I started receiving respect from the maintenance guys. Same guys who at first would not work for me without their boss’s approval of work order, would get the job done per my request, without a work order, if I would ask them.

Some of the benefits were that the maintenance would know what parts they were to order for replacing the failed ones, & most often had them in stock. Oh Yes, the company’s maintenance had replaced/repaired parts during emergencies with substitute components & alternate assembly methods. Because they did not have any set standard or stocked parts or even documentation to tell them what the replacement parts or set up procedures were supposed to be.

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